As a pet owner, one of the best things you can do to keep your dog healthy is to make sure you feed him high-quality well-balanced food.
Good food will strengthen your dog’s immune system, ensure that his digestive system is in concrete health, and keep his hair coat shiny. So is your dog getting the healthiest food for him? With so many options available on the market, how do you make sure that you choose the best dog food for your pet?
Here are a few tips to help you find the best dog food for the furry member of your family:
- Consider your dog’s breed, age, activity, and reproductive status: When choosing an appropriate dog food, your dog’s behavior, physical characteristics, and overall health play a critical role. Lactating mothers and puppies will need a lot more calories per day, and senior dogs need fewer. Also, breeds that are more active will need to be fed more calories than the sedentary couch-potato breeds – the amount and type of food that you feed correctly will help in preventing health issues caused by obesity. There are some brands that formulate foods based on breed, but the majority will distinguish between formulas for small breeds versus those for large ones.
- Learn “buzz words” pertaining to food packaging: Do you know that the actual wording on dog food packages is a type of code for how much of any one protein the food contains? The FDA analysis of pet food labels states that simple names such as “Chicken Dog Food” or “Beef for Dogs” indicates that 95% of the total product is comprised of the listed protein, excluding the water content. When water is added, the results are a required 70%. It is vital to know things like this when choosing food for your doggy.
- Avoid dry dog foods that contain certain ingredients: When you are checking the labels of dry dog food, keep an eye out for certain undesirable ingredients. These ingredients will be present in minimal percentages in high-quality dry dog foods.
- Meat by-products
- Artificial preservatives, including ethoxyquin, BHA, or BHT
- “Generic” fat source, such as “animal fat”
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial colors
- Also, be careful about buying dog food that is made in China
- Research the brand you have chosen: Once you have finally found a brand of food for your dog, make sure that you find out as much as you can about the manufacturer. This will help in ensuring appropriate sourcing of ingredients and quality control. If the packaging does not have the answers to any questions you might have, you should contact a representative and get the answers you need. If the company is one that produces high quality dog food, then they will be eager to help and address any questions or issues you might have.
Your dog is a valuable member of your family, which is why you should feed him the best dog food you can afford. Keep in mind that expensive products do not always mean that they are the best. Talk to your vet about the best options available and which dog food would benefit your pet the most. With the right type of food, you will have a healthy, happy dog!